One of my children is in love with a little girl named Bryn. Apparently this vixen smells like vanilla cookies, and “always” wears lip gloss that smells a little like bubblegum, and sometimes like berries. She has long hair that is a little curly like his Mommy’s hair (Stephanie has lovely mermaid hair). And when he talks about Bryn, he blushes. He’s learning to small talk in Grade Four, with girls (with much practice with his Step-Mommy). You see, girls are quite terrifying to boys. Something that never occurred to me, the entire time I was single and dating.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself, “wish I had known that small piece of intel.”
I tell Lucas that he is wonderful. He works hard at things, and they don’t come as easily as they do for other kids, including his identical twin brother. For instance, Lucas reads more slowly, but could remember the name of Jabba the Hut’s brother (don’t ask… I can’t remember). Logan provided “the fat worm dude’s brother”. Helpful son. One is fast, and retains little, and one is slower and retains all.
And Lucas (who retains everything) is also hyper sensitive. He’s determined to perform to the degree of perfectionism sometimes. I am aware of the symptoms you see. Loves, animals, hyper sensitive, approval seeking, affectionate, gets “attached” to people… I’m determined to help him navigate this better than I did, which was to be ostracized for it, my entire life.
So we practice small talk a lot. Cool things that boys can say to girls, without tipping their hand to other boys you see, who might mock my young little Romeo. Logan will be more like Neruda I think. He’d like “all the girls to like him”, where Lucas would like “only Bryn or Gracie to like him”. After loving her since kindergarten, my sweet Lucas has decided to move on to other prospects. However, he still blushes when I ask about Gracie. He’s filed her under “call me maybe”.
“Hhhello Bryn, that dress is very pretty.”
“Hhhi Bryn, I think your hair looks extra good today.” (He came up with that one).
“Hi Bryn, this is Lucas’ step-mommy. He is a really special young man and I am pretty sure he’ll make a fabulous boyfriend. If you stomp on my boys heart, I’m going to glare at you at the next school trip.”
I mean, I wouldn’t really. She’s ten. But in my head I would.
There are boys at his school that are already playing football. We decided to wait one more year, and let our kids work on some skills including organization. You know, the ever evasive “following directions” without being asked twenty-times. But Lucas is concerned that Bryn may fall for a skinny guy in his class that “bugs her” all the time and is rude to her. He plays football.
Me: “How does Bryn react when he bugs her?”
Lucas: “She gets angry.”
Me: “Okay, she probably doesn’t like him. You’re in the clear. If she starts chasing him at recess or sharing chips with him, then we may have a problem.”
Lucas: “Okay thanks Lori.”
[Insert chuckle when he was out of ear shot]
Sweet people have it harder in life. The world seems so designed for the arrogant, the extroverted or the capitalistic, opportunistic takers. They get more volume, more attention, they get more affection and recognition. But if you look beneath the surface of that type, there are always gaps in some important areas. Like generosity, patience, persistence, gratefulness and other gifts that come with having to work just a little bit harder, for a little bit longer to get what you want.
Like planning a Valentine’s Day gift in September.
Me: “The best gift you can give someone Lucas is to let them know they really matter in your world. That you see them, understand them, value them and want to spend time with them. That fills up someone’s heart ————————————————————————————-> this big.”
Lucas: “So what happens if someone doesn’t make YOU feel that way?”
Me: “It hurts. It’s kind of like rejection, and everyone hates that feeling. You can try different things to make them understand, but if you aren’t as important to someone, you just have to focus more time on the people who make you feel happy in your heart. YOU make me feel happy in my heart, Lucas.”
Lucas: “You are really good at girl advice.”
Me: “Well, I can be a girl sometimes too, you know. And a mushy one, even if people forget that.”
Lucas: “Daddy made you mushy.”
Me: “He helped, but I was born mushy and had to learn to hide it. But my mushy comes out a lot when you kids are around.”
In other news, our kids got hooked on Karaoke Revolution on XBox this weekend. You haven’t seen cute until you have seen identical twin ten-year-old’s belting out “Eye of the Tiger”. I’d share the videos but they have a thing about being on social with their boxer shorts on. Aunt Kimmy and Diane got sent a private video though. And the boys practiced the song until they got it perfect. If Kevin never hears this song again for the rest of his life, it will be too soon.